Archive for November, 2012


Dashiki

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Dashiki, also known as “Danchiki” by the Hausas, pronounced dan-she-key is a loose-fitting shirt or tailored shirt, (often V-shaped) often with elaborate or simple embroidery patterns around the neck, chest, and sleeve lines. The shapes of the neckline may also vary. Some Dashikis come with closed necklines, some V-neck lines, square-neck lines, and many other shapes and forms. Dashikis are widely worn in West Africa. However, over the years it has gained popularity in other parts of Africa.

Dashikis come in different patterns and designs. However, the basic look is preserved. Dashikis may include a few traditional buttons, a clip button, Velcro, or a hook and eye closure to secure the neckline.

Dashikis are generally made out of African print, Brocade, Lace, Silk, Suiting, or Cotton fabrics.

African Print Dashiki:

Brocade Dashiki:

Lace Dashiki:

Dashiki in Suiting Fabric:

Hand Painted Cotton Dashiki:

Dashikis can be worn by men or women depending on the cut and the style of the Dashiki. Dashikis are also worn by children.Dashikis can be casual or dressy.

It is not uncommon to see Dashikis with embroidered symbols. Adinkra symbols, created by the Gyamans in Cote d’Ivoire (ivory coast) and the Akan of Akanland are a common type of symbol found on Dashikis.

A Black Dashiki is appropriate to wear to a funeral in Nigeria unless otherwise stated. Many West African cultures adopt this convention as well. In Ghana, Red is worn by the immediate family and Black by friends. Black is worn to mourn the death of young people. White with a touch of Black is worn when the deceased lived a long life. Black Dashikis can also be worn to celebrations, weddings, religious occasions, special events, casual events and more. Black Dashikis/Clothing are not only worn to funerals.

Purple and Gold is generally a celebratory combination of colors in many African cultures. The combination is considered regal and can be worn to weddings, special events, and more. White and Gold is another popular combination for weddings, birth ceremonies, religious events and more.There are other popular combinations — Brown and Gold, Blue and Silver and many other combinations.

All shades of colors are generally worn all year round in Africa contrary to the perception of wearing certain colors of Dashikis during particular seasons. Colors range from Gold, Black, Purple, Pink, Lime Green, Dark Green, Yellow, Blue, white, red and more. These colors are worn by Women, Men and children irrespective of the Hue.

There are several types of Dashikis. Dashikis can be worn with pants (typically draw string pants). This style is typically known as Old school by the Yorubas, a tribe in Nigeria, West Africa.

Dashikis could be above knee length coupled with draw string pants, often referred to as Senegalese

Dashikis could also consist of a Top, pants and a Robe, widely referred to as Agbada, Babariga, Joromi, Grand boubou and more

Dashikis made its way to the American market during the African-American political and cultural struggles in the 1960s. A good number of African-American icons began to wear Dashikis in place of western suits and ties to depict a sense of pride in their African Heritage. Dashikis found its way to cinemas, movies, plays, events, communities and more. The Dashiki fashion was perceived by society to be different in that, it was loose fitting, could be worn tucked out of pants, the colors were often vibrant, the style was very different from conventional clothing at the time and more.

Dashikis have evolved over the years. While the original styles are still widely worn, there are many contemporary styles that are getting a lot of steam in Africa as well as in the western world. Dashikis have been incorporated in many African-American communities for special events, religious occasions, and casual events. Dashikis and other forms of African Clothing are worn by hundreds of thousands of people across the United States during African-American celebrations. Black history month is one of those celebrations. It is celebrated in the month of February by African-Americans and well wishers commemorating African heritage. Black history month is also celebrated in other countries. Canada and the United Kingdom are some of those countries. Black history month may vary depending on the country where it is being celebrated. Kwanzaa is another celebration. Kwanzaa is observed from December 26th to January 1st. It is a celebration observed by the United States and Canada celebrating African-American African-Canadian culture and heritage.

Dashikis shirts can also be worn casually. They can be worn with a pair of jeans, linen pants and more. Dashikis can be worn with or without a hat.

For a wide selection of Dashikis, please click here